4 Ways I’m Saving Money with a New Grocery Shopping Routine
I posted last month about the changes I have made to grocery shopping. I used to follow the ‘stockpile’ method, though I only purchased an extra one or two of items that I felt we would use. I realized recently, when I couldn’t keep our grocery bill down, that:
- We had a lot in our cabinets but I wasn’t using it for menu planning like I should.
- We didn’t eat everything I bought.
I mentioned before I have made some changes in my shopping habits, which, of course, means a change up in my shopping routine. I spend less time in preparation for a trip and save money at the same time. Last month I cut $100 from our bill, which is huge!
Here are four changes I've made to my shopping routine that are saving me money:
· Not buying something JUST BECAUSE it is on sale and I have a coupon. There’s been this idea in couponing that you should scoop something up if it is on sale and you have a coupon. While I’ve never cleared a shelf for a sale, I would buy an extra even if I had another in the cabinet. Now I don’t. If it won’t get used almost immediately, it remains at the store.
· I menu plan for three to four days only. I don’t sit down and write out a weekly menu, but instead I do it on a three day basis. I found it overwhelming to try to imagine what I might fix on Saturday when it was Monday. On the same note . . .
· I now shop every three to four days. This has been the biggest money saving thing I’ve done, though everyone says you won’t save money this way! We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and little that is frozen or pre-made. In the past I would try to buy up fruits and veggies to last an entire week. They would then go bad, or we would run out before my next shopping trip. Now I shop two, sometimes three, times per week, but they are quick and short stops. I go in with a list and coupons and only buy what is on my list. I don’t drive out of my way to get to the store, so I’m not wasting gas or time. And I have managed to cut down about $25 per week by shopping this way. (While some think this way will waste more time at the store, I am in and out in about 20 minutes versus the hour to hour and fifteen minutes it used to take!)
· I take my coupon binder with me. I used to use a site that matched sales and coupons, like couponmom.com or southernsavers.com, and I would clip what I needed and leave my binder at home. Now I clip the coupons I will use, organize them according to type, and carry my binder with me to the store. This way, if I find something on sale while I’m out and I have my coupons I can save money on it.
What is your routine for grocery shopping? Do you make a list? Clip coupons in advance and organize in a binder that you take to the store, or only carry coupons to the store? Do you menu plan?
Image via Kathy Murdock